Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
cigarettes, 100 cigars (but not from Cuba),
or 3 pounds of smoking tobacco; and (3)
$100 worth of gifts. These exemptions are
offered to trav elers who spend at least 72
hours in the U nited States and who hav e
not claimed them within the pr eceding 6
months. It is forbidden to bring into the
country almost any meat products (includ-
ing canned, fresh, and dried meat products
such as bouillon, soup mix es, and so
forth). G enerally, condiments including
vinegars, oils, spices, coffee, tea, and some
cheeses and baked goods ar e permitted.
Avoid rice products, as rice can often har-
bor insects. Bringing fruits and vegetables
is not advised, though not pr ohibited.
Customs will allow produce depending on
where y ou got it and wher e y ou're going
after you arrive in the U.S. Foreign tourists
may carry in or out up to $10,000 in U.S.
or for eign curr ency with no formalities;
larger sums must be declared to U.S. Cus-
toms on entering or leaving, which
What You Can Take Home
from Chicago
Canadian Citizens: For a clear summar y
of Canadian r ules, write for the booklet I
Declare, issued by the Canada Border Ser-
vices Agency ( & 800/461-9999 in Can-
ada, or 204/983-3500; www .cbsa-asfc.gc.
U.K. C itizens: F or information, con-
tact HM Customs & E xcise at & 0845/
010-9000 (fr om outside the U.K., 020/
8929-0152), or consult their w
ebsite at .
Australian C itizens: A helpful br o-
chure available from Australian consulates
or Customs offices is Know Before You Go.
For more information, call the Australian
Customs Service at & 1300/363-263, or
log on to .
New Zealand Citizens: Most questions
are answered in a fr ee pamphlet av ailable
at New Z ealand consulates and C ustoms
offices: New Z ealand C ustoms G uide for
Travellers, Notice no. 4. For more informa-
tion, contact New Zealand Customs, The
Customhouse, 17-21 Whitmore St., Box
2218, W ellington ( & 04/473-6099 or
includes filing form CM 4790. For details
regarding U.S. C ustoms and Bor der Pro-
tection, consult your nearest U.S. embassy
or consulate, or U.S. Customs (www.cbp.
When should y ou go to Chicago? That
depends on what kind of weather you like.
Chicago has it all—heat and humidity
Don't be afraid to tr y the off season:
Museums are wide open, shops hav e sales
(especially in J an), and the str eets ar en't
clogged with pedestrians. Chicago is defi-
nitely a four-season destination; its inhab-
itants ar e har dy enough to be out and
about even in the depths of winter . As an
added incentiv e to “ off-season” trav elers,
hotel rates ar e r ock-bottom during the
One thing is cer tain: Whenever y ou
decide to go, y ou should be pr epared for
changeable w eather. Chicagoans like to
joke that if you don't like the weather here,
just wait an hour . One beautiful summer
afternoon, I left my apartment in jeans and
subzero temps, and wind, wind, wind.
The city has a r eputation for being r eally
cold in the winter . In reality, it's about as
cold as any other northern city. Maybe it's
that wind that makes the cold seem mor e
bitter. S till, most visitors pr efer planning
trips to Chicago in late spring thr ough
early fall. If you can't make it during prime
time, err on the side of arriving later in fall
rather than early in spring. Spring in Chi-
cago can be notoriously late and fickle, but
fall offers beautiful days that can extend to
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